Feb Sourcebook 2010
February Sourcebook 2010
Stay & Play
The Outer Banks offers a wide choice of accommodations to help guests escape everyday life
Looking for a way to shake the winter blues? Even the hardiest of souls can slip into Scrooge-mode when wool sweaters get too itchy and the wind chill cuts to the bone.
To remedy the malady, psychologists say to plan something youll look forward to. Near the top of their things-that-beat-the-blahs list is scheduling a getaway just not too far from home.
For folks in Hampton Roads, this translates into escaping to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. What could be more therapeutic than an outdoor family barbecue at an oceanfront beach house or sharing a romantic evening in a seaside motel?
From Carova to Ocracoke, the picturesque towns of the Outer Banks and its hundreds of miles of unspoiled beaches and pristine waterways lure vacationers from all over the world. They come here for world-class deep-sea fishing; to ride some of the best surf on the East Coast and to sunbathe, hang glide and power boat; to discover Americas birthplace; and to stroll through hundreds of specialty shops, galleries and museums.
As a result of hosting nearly five million visitors every year, the towns have grown to be very accommodating.
Over the years, the Outer Banks has responded to the demands of its market. Accommodation options range from tent camping to movie-star-type homes. Hotel chains now have a presence in the area, adding their offerings to those of upscale bed-and-breakfast inns and other resorts, says Angie Brady-Daniels, vice president of public relations for the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce. There are quaint two- and three-bedroom homes and then there are event homes with as many as 16 bedrooms. The larger homes are perfect for wedding parties, family reunions, corporate retreats, church groups and other large gatherings.
According to statistics compiled by the chamber, there are around 21,000 rental homes and condos, 1,900 campsites, 145 cottage courts, and 3,200 motel, hotel and bed-and-breakfast rooms in Dare and Currituck counties that cater to transient lodgers.
If you havent been here in a whileor neverits time to plan your escape. While summer might seem a more traditional season to visit, winter is also a good time to spend a few days or a long weekend. And, with so many overnight options, you can easily latch on to the one that matches your mood.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and ready to get away from it all? Then rent a beach house in the four-wheel-drive area of Corova or on the wind-swept beaches of Hatteras Island.
Want to embrace the outdoors and wring every drop of sunshine out of a bleak winters day? Camp near an ancient maritime forest or a state park. Even in winter, the beach grasses and bare branches are stunning. Or, if thats too extreme, you can find tranquility and refuge from urbanite images by renting a cozy beach house.
Craving a dose of small-town life and its dawdling ways? Stay in a house, condo or room near a foot or bike path that transports you through waterfront towns and their motley mix of shops, restaurants and activities.
Along with these accommodations comes a grocery list of amenities that sprinkle reality with a smattering of stardust. Among the offerings are heated lap pools, hot tubs, golfing greens, home theaters, game rooms, multiple flat-screen televisions, wrap-around decks with outdoor kitchens, high-speed Internet, gaming devices, club memberships, sports packages, concierge services, vast libraries, high-tech coffee bars, fitness facilities, gourmet kitchens, maid service, and tennis courts.
In planning your escape, prioritize the amenities you want. Check online listings and company websites to compare what they offer, the rates, available dates, and descriptions of the accommodations.
Determine how many people are going; how much money you want to spend; which area of the Outer Banks you prefer; what activities you want to be near; if pets are going; and how long you want to stay. Decide if this will be a girlfriend retreat, a family furlough, a personal sabbatical, a romantic rendezvous, a guy getaway, or a couples weekend.
For a true escape, forgo a schedule. (Remember the adage: If nothing is planned, nothing can go wrong.) Pack lightly. Follow your curiosity. Be spontaneous. Disconnect with everything back home. Play.
You should find that, whether youre looking to escape the blues or the blogosphere, time spent on the Outer Banks can gently transition you from the golden promise of the New Year into the renewing promise of spring.
OUTER BANKS' RECOMMENDED MERCHANTS
BRINDLEY BEACH VACATIONS & SALES
Brindley Beach Vacations offers 210-bedroom homes, private pools, hot tubs, pets, oceanfront to soundfront, linens and towels provided, all close to shopping and restaurants. 877-642-3224, 252-453-3000. www.brindleybeach.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilton Garden Inn
Centrally located in Kitty Hawk, between the North and South Beaches, The Hilton Garden Inns gorgeous design and outstanding amenities are only surpassed by endless oceanfront views! 252-261-1290, www.outerbanks.stayhgi.com
Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates
Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates has provided quality vacation rental accommodations to Outer Banks visitors since 1968. We offer 550 vacation homes Nags Head to Duck, from cozy cottages and condos, to grand 12-bedroom oceanfront manors. We look forward to having you as our guests! 4607 N. Croatan Hwy.
Mile Post 2.7, Kitty Hawk, NC. 800-552-6257, www.joelambjr.com
Mark Buckler Photography
Offering fun and creative beach portraits on the Outer Banks as well as spectacular images of our coastal environment. 252-599-6275. www.markbucklerphotography.com,
Outer Banks Taste of the Beach
Presented by the Outer Banks Restaurant Association. 4 Days of Food, Drink & Fun on the Outer Banks of North Carolina! A weekend you wont want to miss!
Ramada Plaza Hotel
Located in Kill Devil Hills, the Ramada Plaza Resort offers a beautiful oceanfront, full-service catering/bar, an oceanview ballroom and restaurant, an indoor/outdoor pool with Jacuzzi and much more. 252-441-2151, 800-635-1824. www.ramadaplazanagshead.com
Exceptional homes and extraordinary service. More than 500 Outer Banks vacation rental homes, oceanfront to soundfront, Corolla to Nags Head. Call 877.505.7477 or book online at www.MyOBXBeach.com
To read this article, see the Hampton Roads Magazine's February 2010 Sourcebook currently available on newsstands.